Friday, March 21, 2014

Mitchell Silver To Be Named City's New Parks Commissioner

Mitchell Silver is the City's new Parks Commissioner.  


By Geoffrey Croft

An ex-planner, with a reputation for  working with communities will be appointed By Mayor Bill De Blasio to head the City's Parks Department later today.

Mitchell Silver, a Brooklyn native was formerly the chief planning and development officer for Raleigh, N.C. and former head of the American Planning Association. Prior to that he was deputy planning director in Washington, D.C.

Silver has taught at Hunter College, where he got his master’s degree in urban planning.   

Silver also co-authored Local Planning: Contemporary Principles, the primary textbook for the profession’s main licensing exam.

He met his wife, Mary Singleterry at Pratt  Institute.  

Mr. Silver was hired by WE ACT  to help faciliate the design process for the redevelopment of the Harlem Piers at 125th Street.   Community access to the waterfront in Harlem was created from a former Fairway parking lot and is now a heavily ulized open space.  

"Mr. Community engagement"  

A parks commissioner known for community-based planning and consultation will be sharp departure from the Bloomberg Administration which was known for having an often contentious relationship with critics and promoted a number of controversial policies and projects.

The current administration is facing a number of controversial Bloomberg-era park policies; The building a high-end restaurant in Union Square Park,  the  seizing of more than 47 acres on Flushing Meadow's Corona Park to build a mall; Allowing the commercial take-over of Damroach Park in Lincoln Center, Using the Bronx waterfront for Fresh Direct instead of for open space, and installing housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park to name just a few.  

The agency is also facing chronic underfunding and a number of privatization policies left over from the previous administration. 

Deputy commissioner Liam Kavanagh who has been running the day-to-day operations of the agency since former  Parks commissioner Adrain  Benepe was let go in 2012 was in Brooklyn last night attending a meeting in Brighton Beach on the controversial comfort stations. 

12:45 PM – Hosts Press Conference to Make an Announcement
Seward Park
Corner of Essex Street and Canal Street
New York, NY 10002
Footage will be provided by NYC TV and will be available shortly following the event on Encompass Port CTY- 4205. Official photos will be available at shortly following the event.

Read More:

NY Daily News - March 20, 2014 -  By Jennifer Fermino

Crain's New York Business - March 20,  2014 - Andrew J. Hawkins   

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